Rwanda has received its first-ever gold refinery. The $5m plant is located at the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District.
The refinery has capacity to process gold from around the continent, improving efforts to make sure that Africa adds value to its minerals before exporting them.
Aldango, the company behind the initiative is a joint venture between two firms – Hilly Metals Company, a local company, and Aldibra. The two hold equal shares in the business.
The refinery has been functioning since March. Aldango was previously running as a business dealing in gold.
The company’s chairman, Jean de Dieu Mutunzi, said, “We have built an advanced factory with required capacity to process large quantities of gold from all around Africa.”
He further added, “What we are doing is not new but people have been used to taking gold to Europe, Dubai, Turkey, Switzerland, and Belgium. Now we have the same factory with the standards as those in Europe and Asia.”
“The company’s main business is to buy gold and process it to make sure we get 99.99 per cent quality”, he said.
Gold attracts security threats to the life of dealers and company officials believe the firm can help reduce those threats since there won’t necessarily be need to travel long distances looking for a place that can refine gold.
Soraya Hakuziyaremye, the Minister of Trade and Industry, said, “it signals to the fact that Rwanda was moving on to the next level of adding value to its minerals. The gold refinery is the first of its kind in the country”
The new facility has a capacity to refine 6 tonnes of gold a month, or about about 220 kilogrammes a day, and officials said they were working to increase its capacity as demand increases.
Mining and quarrying recorded an 18.2 per cent growth in the same year.
Rwanda targets to collect $1.5 billion from mineral exports by 2024.
The Government says this is an important development.